Your Brand is Only as Good as Your Reputation
Are you aware of all the online conversations about your brand? Are your listings accurate? Check the health of your online business information with our free listings scan.
Monitor: Set the Stage
Engage with Customers: When searching for more information about your brand, this is often the first impression.
Boost SEO Rankings: Search engines reward sites that take an active role in providing current information and can help you attract more customers.
Manage: Behind the Scenes
Create a Knowledge Base: From branch hours to locations, have key information centralized and accessible to different members of your team.
Establish Workflows: Reviews can be on anything – build a team to handle the unexpected and set pre-approved responses to help you answer customers faster.
Solicit Reviews: Your Curtain Call
Set Talking Points: If you could be in the room with the reviewer, what would you want them to say about your brand?
Form Connections: The best reviews come when you provide an experience to a customer that is both unique and familiar.
Five Steps to Managing Your Digital Listings
Test your reputation and get tips for getting started with your listings and reviews.
Ben Pankonin 0:00
The broadcast is now starting. All attendees are in listen only mode.
Welcome to another social bank webinar. Today we’re going to be talking about all things managing reputation with listings and reviews. We’re going to be looking from one stars to five stars. And I am hosting again then penken, founder and CEO of social assurance, and I am joined with Alexander law argue morning, Ben, thanks for having me again. Well, this is going to be a great time. We’ve been having a lively debate already this morning. Oh, yes. And we’ve also been comparing a number of experiences that we’ve had both positive and negative in reviews. So I think maybe some of those will surface. But I think, you know, we’re gonna, we’re gonna have a good debate, I think today about sort of the merits of why we’re investing in reviews and Why, why we see it as valuable for community financial institutions all
Alexander Lahargoue 1:05
across the country. Exactly. I’m looking forward to it.
Ben Pankonin 1:07
Cool. Well, well, we we’ve got a little bit of a theme today going in that we’re going to be talking a little bit of theater theme. Maybe some of that was predicated on I had a major item milestone anniversary. This last week, my wife and I’ve been married 15 years we got married. So so we had a we had a milestone anniversary, and we we saved up so we could go see Hamilton. So which was a lot of fun. So we’ve got a little bit of theater theme going on today. But really, I think one of the reasons why I originally kind of gravitated to a theater theme is that, you know, listings reviews and the way we engage with consumers online, is now it’s a spectator environment. We’re always on stage. You know, we have this mentality Now that everything we do, can be reviewed. And, you know, there’s no bigger threat when you’re standing at a restaurant, and you have a bad experience than to grab your smartphone quickly, and bring it up as though you’re going to message right, that that is the biggest threat as consumers
Alexander Lahargoue 2:23
today. Oh, yeah, of course.
Ben Pankonin 2:25
So. So I think, you know, what we’re going to talk through is this idea of how do we understand the way that consumers are reviewing today? That’s really what we’re going to do in setting the stage and then we’re going to we’re going to talk about some specific strategies to managing online reviews. We had a number of engagements recently, in which people were talking about both how they manage negative reviews, but we’re also going to look at how we manage positive reviews. And really that third section we’re going to talk about how we influence reviewers how Is that we draw out positive reviews. And for some of you may be drowned out negative reviews, or for maybe some of you get some reviews to begin with. So we’re going to really be talking more about how do we solicit reviews in a positive way. So first things first is we talk about setting the stage. It is a great time to be alive, right? It’s a time in which all of us with smartphones have an opportunity to democratize the way we view the brands that we engage with, we now have more power as a consumer who’s educated with a smartphone than ever before. And we have this chance when we buy something on Amazon, to have an influence on what other people think of it. When we start really grasping the impact of that it changes consumer behavior dramatically. So you know, the nature of how we get reviews I think is really important. But just it’s a it’s a crazy way that we’re engaging with the world around us. So when we think about the way that consumers today are engaging with reviews, it’s not just that they’re sort of looking at this one star to five star review. It’s also that we’re engaging with review data, and listings data in particular, when we’re using every sort of digital assistant. So, so digital assistants being you know, things like Alexa. Hopefully, I woke up somebody Alexa by saying that, you know, it could be that we’re engaging with Alexa, it could be that it’s Google Home Mini. It could be that you’re asking Siri or Google Assistant on your phone. You know, some sort of information.
Alexander Lahargoue 4:53
Yeah, man. That’s a great point. In fact, I was talking to a few of my friends last night about this topic and asking them you know, what is their primary way? finding information out about brands they’re interested in. Interesting. Yeah. And then the common one was that we don’t really at least one of my friend group, we don’t really use a Google search engine to find information we typically do instead is use the app or the map app in our phones to quickly find their location, their contact information. And so just the thing about the different ways that all these listings come from was especially eye opening to see practice.
Ben Pankonin 5:23
Yeah, absolutely. So so if you’re, if you’re engaging with Google Apps, right, yeah. Or you’re engaging with Apple Maps, or ways or whatever those are, they’re all different sources, right? Facebook sources significantly different. So I actually had this experience. This last weekend where we went on our anniversary trip, we were in Philadelphia, and we were looking for, you know, a nearby location. And my wife says, hey, it’s point five miles from here. And I said, Actually, no, it’s point three months. miles from here, which is significant if you’re walking, right? Like that’s, that’s a significant difference, and maybe not so much if you’re driving. And she said, Oh, I don’t see that screen in your maps. And I said, Well, that’s because you’re using Apple Maps, and I’m using Google Maps, different results, you know, which from a walking distance is pretty significant right? Now, you know, in that case, you know, we we ended up sort of realizing that I mean, it, you know, we’ve been married long enough, so there was no one right or wrong, right? In this debate, but But what we found was, you know, it was a different, it was different distance for the same location. But it was just the way that it was mapping it and the way it was gathering listings data. So, so pretty significant when we’re thinking about where those listings information comes from. And for those of you who are using, you know, this, my latest cars, the first one to have navigation built into the car. Now, the funny thing is, I know Never use the navigation that’s built into the car happens to be a TomTom. And never use it. Right. What I use instead is I plug my phone into the car and it uses Apple CarPlay. Which I actually use three different map sources from my iPhone. Use, right? So if someone texts me an address, then that defaults to using Apple Maps. Okay, so now Apple map data pulls their data from other sources, some of them their own, so you can actually update Apple map data, but they also pull some information from other places like Foursquare. So they have their own their own data for where to find something. So if I say, hey, restaurant around me, and I use Siri to do that Siri might pull up Apple Maps. Okay, now, I tend to favor Google Maps. I think Google Maps does a better job of navigation. I think it has better listings data and will We’ll talk a little bit about some of Google’s tooling. But I think they have just better data. So I tend to use Google Maps, if I’m mapping out a location, so I can select that. If you’ve got a car that uses CarPlay, you know, it’s going to pull up a dashboard like that one on the right. But I also when I’m in an area where I know there might be traffic, or maybe I happen to be speeding slightly. I might use waves app. The waves app, if you’re not familiar, is really nice in larger cities, because it is completely based on review data. Which is fascinating because as I’m driving with ways, I can actually tell it up, I can pull up the little, that little pin button I get when I press that and I can do this in my car. So on the dashboard screen, I can press the little pin button. It will pull up a screen that looks kind of like the one on the far right, which will ask me, oh, what are you reporting? And I can report, Hey, I just passed a friendly police officer.
And then all of the cars behind me benefit from that data.
Alexander Lahargoue 9:18
Right? You touched earlier. And interesting source, though, is a piece and how all these different sites pull from different sources. So when correcting one source, then ripple down to all the other sites and all the other ones? No.
Ben Pankonin 9:32
So so that’s that’s part of the challenge, right, is if I update my Google listing, that doesn’t necessarily help my Apple Maps. Gotcha. And my car now weighs is now owned by Google. So they are working closer and closer with Google. And Google is starting to benefit from some of that weighs data. So behind the scenes, it starts to get really complicated, but what we have to start to understand is Hey, just because You’ve got different data all over. You know, you don’t necessarily know where that’s all coming from. Gotcha. So, so I think it’s a really interesting model when we start to think about how does review data influence all of the apps we’re using because as a consumer, I don’t necessarily care if you text me an address, or you text me something, like, I’m just, I’m going to click on it. And it’s going to take me into Apple Maps. And I’m just going to have that kind of experience. When I was using an Android, I would have just clicked on it and went right into Google Maps. That experience as a consumer isn’t necessarily dependent on where the review is happening. The same is true when I use you know, things like Open Table, which I use to you know, confirm our dinner reservation. For anniversary, I booked it right on Open Table, right. So I’m going to go in, I’m going to be influenced by reviewed data, was this a good restaurant? Do I think my wife’s going to like it made her win points or lose points on this? Right? Like, that’s what we’re looking for. Right. And, you know, in that whole process, were heavily influenced by that review data. Now, when we start to look a little bit more at, you know, how those reviews happen, you know, it’s actually driving clients to a platform, right? Like, you know, we’ve got some great stats in here with 84% of consumers say online reviews influence their buying and purchasing behavior. That seems low to me. Like, I don’t I haven’t talked to anybody who would say that, that they aren’t influenced by that. You know, we also see platforms like Glassdoor, right. So when we think of how are we attracting potential employees in platforms like Glassdoor can be very effective at helping
Alexander Lahargoue 11:59
you know, speaking of glass Or its quality reviews, as we know, get quality results. So if our listeners want to get better results from the reviews that they have on those kind of sites, what are some different ways they can source authentic reviews or some of their employees?
Ben Pankonin 12:14
Yeah. You know, I think I think that’s always a delicate situation. Na, you know, I’m thinking of this as an employer thing, I have this thing, you know, I should really probably talk with some of my employees and who I think are satisfied and happy. You don’t have to answer that Alexander. But But like, you know, I think about it. The way that we engage with them and say, Hey, you know, what would you say about working here? I think one of the things we oftentimes Miss is that we think that great review sites, sort of just default to a positive experience, right? what I should do is asking employees first, how are they enjoying their job? What would they They say about their job, what would they say about working here? And then maybe ask, you know, is that something that you are where you think we could put on Glassdoor? Like, right? Like I think the it presupposes that we’re going to ask whether or not we are a good place to work first, right? Because I first care about, are my employees happy here? Is this is this a place where they feel like they can they can grow and, and really feel appreciated? And then maybe I might ask for reviews.
Alexander Lahargoue 13:31
So you’ve seen reviews from employees become as important, for example, in recruiting candidates as for example, the benefits that you offer and the hours and so forth.
Ben Pankonin 13:41
I mean, I think I think you’re weighing all of those together. Right? And, you know, and it depends on the size of your institution, who they’re going to engage with how they’re going to get involved. I think all of that plays a role. But But certainly, you know, we, we don’t necessarily want to send out the email. blanket and say, hey employees, please go review us on Glassdoor. I don’t think that goes well, for you as an employer. I don’t think that is the way we want to be authentic in our engagement and relationship to our employees. Now, I, you know, I was Alexander, you participated in one of the things that I’ve that I’ve done with a lot of employees. Yeah. A little exercise that, that I love to share. And this is something that you can do as you’re educating some of your staff, but but we use it as a way to say, what’s our value as a company in helping financial brands? And so maybe you can describe a little bit of how I usually present this.
Alexander Lahargoue 14:44
Yeah, yeah, one of the great things about working here is that oftentimes the learning experiences and opportunities come off as games and little competitive events. And so in relation to this particular slide, you gave us an example with two different banks and you asked us which app we preferred best Was myself and I believe two of the interns in the office. And we all took some time about five minutes looking at different review sites looking at different screenshots. And what’s funny is that we all came up with three different answers. You know, one was a, the other said B. And then a third of us actually said that that was the exact same app that both of the banks were using. And lo and behold, that was the correct answer. And that the only thing that really differentiated one bank from the other that was was the reviews that was listed on the
Ben Pankonin 15:27
App Store for that particular app. Yeah. Well, what we found is, you know, so I ranked two banks locally. And I asked, I asked, you know, a few people in our staff and I do this frequently, where I’ll ask people what, you know, which bank Do you or which banks mobile app do you prefer? And I think it’s, it’s a debate that we have a lot of times, and I happen to know, both banks pretty well, and I knew which app they’re using. They’re both they’ve both contracted with five serve for their app. And they both have To purchase the same app, so So actually, when you looked at both apps, if you got down to the screenshots they were identical.
Alexander Lahargoue 16:07
exactly identical. Right?
Ben Pankonin 16:08
But significantly different review data. Yes. And significantly different way to market them. The first bank, the bank that actually everybody said was better. was, was one that talked a lot about their mobile app. They actually mentioned it on their website, they linked to it. They had a lot of positive communication about it. The other bank sort of tucked it away.
Alexander Lahargoue 16:36
Yeah, yeah. It was particularly interesting with the first bank was that some of the key features of their mobile app that they mentioned, were then later on listed in the reviews that were left by some of their customers using the app.
Ben Pankonin 16:49
Yeah, yeah. I mean, so what you have is sort of a repeat of the data. Right, exactly. So So I think it’s a really fun test. It’s a fun test. For for maybe you as a bank to even say, hey, I’d love to take take someone for my staff that you think is is going to give you an honest feedback and say, hey, you’re familiar with our app, pick another bank that uses the same app. And go ask, Who do you think? Do we have a better mobile app? Or do they write? It’s a great honest question that you might get some honest feedback on. But what it will help point out to you is you’re now isolating a variable, very few companies can do this with a mobile app. But financial institutions can if you’ve if you purchased a mobile app, right, because you can, you’re isolating the variable and saying, it’s not actually anything to do with the app. It’s everything to do with how you’re marketing it, how you’re managing listings, how you’re managing reviews, and and then watch how people find that information. Take a you know, take a 22 year old from your staff and ask them to go find that data and you’ll find some really interesting thing. Oh, absolutely. So there’s a fun little test for you. You know, another one, we talked a little bit about how important accuracy is. And I think it’s really important to think of it from the sense that there is no universal place to record all of your listings data, right? So there’s no place that Alexa and Google and Apple all use and Facebook, that all use the same place unless we push that to them, they don’t receive all of that same information. So as good as the internet is, we still have a lot of differences in the way that listings are repaired. Now a few things that that we want to kind of highlight a little bit as well on stats, you know, not considering a business with low ratings. I mean, I wouldn’t consider one. You know, I’m splitting hairs. A lot of times if I go out to a rescue Once I hit something I usually pick, you know, Reviews on Google. If I’m picking a restaurant for an occasion, I would never go to a place that’s under four and a half.
Alexander Lahargoue 19:13
Yeah, I would agree with you on but on this very subject, we got a great question from Jennifer, who asked about, you know, they have a their brand does have a lot of negative reviews, what are some of the different ways that as a brand, they can kind of counteract them and get positive reviews get better brand listing on their website?
Ben Pankonin 19:31
Yeah, I know that we want to influence those positive reviews. Then we’re going to talk a little bit later about soliciting reviews and how to get those reviews. So I think I’m going to hold on to your question a little bit. But I’m also going to say like, this is these ratings are something to be to be important, and we want to think about that in terms of how do you think of a product when you buy it on Amazon. Like if you’re thinking about a review product. I oftentimes will just filter for only four star reviews, because I can go click that filter over on the left side. So I’m only looking at those positive reviews and and not even just positive, like three stars is technically positive. I’m looking at very positive reviews, right? So yeah, now we’re going to just touch a little bit on that second point about SEO, it is critical, because you’re getting a lot more links back to your site, if you’ve got accurate review data. Now 44% actually pay attention to the quantity of reviews. Now, I would actually say this is this is one of the challenges that we face is that if you have a location with no reviews, keep in mind it’s only two clicks for me to give you a one star or five star review. Right so so if you have no review data on a site, then then That’s, you know, you’re at a neutral position, but you’re not really at a neutral position because there’s just no review data on it. So I think it’s really important to start thinking if you’ve got locations that have that have no review data. That’s that’s a really important thing to start thinking about improving, right,
Alexander Lahargoue 21:17
where you wouldn’t encourage our listeners to go out and then on their own brand, just give them a five star review today.
Ben Pankonin 21:22
Well, I think there’s some ways that you can, you can do that you can influence that and we’ll talk a little bit about that. But you can solicit some reviews from employees. You can solicit reviews from positive experiences from customers. But yeah, there’s a lot of ways you can start to do that. But I think you’re at a riskier spot than you think when you have no reviews. Right now. Once you start getting a couple of reviews, what we have to start thinking about is what does it take if I’ve got one review? out there is a five star now this locations reviewed as a five star location, but if someone gives me A one star now I’m down to three. All right, so right if I can start influencing that the best reviews, if we start seeing locations like the restaurant we went out to for our anniversary had several hundred reviews on that restaurant. And it was it was sitting at a 4.7 or so. Now that’s really a, an optimal spot. A lot of times we think optimal is is a five star review. But that’s not actually optimal. Once we start getting a bulk list of reviews, because it’s not realistic. You know, I would never see a restaurant with a couple hundred reviews sitting at a perfect five star, right. Like that doesn’t happen. Someone had an experience in which they would rank it at four stars.
Alexander Lahargoue 22:45
Ben Pankonin 22:47
now, you know, I think it’s also important to think that, you know, consistent reviews are also important, right? So how are we trickling in reviews, not just sort of launching out reviews once and then forgetting about it for another couple years. Like we want to start to influence that reviews come in over time. That’s really our best scenario for more reviews. So with that, we’re going to talk a little bit about how we do manage these reviews, and how we do start to influence the accuracy and effectiveness of those. And when we think about how we position ourselves for every type of scenario, I think it’s really important that we think about, Hey, how are we approaching reviews in general? How do we make sure that we’re not throwing away our opportunity in front of a customer, and then an opportunity in front of a customer? You know, first starts with claiming locations. You know, claiming locations can be a time intensive task, especially if you have a lot of locations. But, you know, claiming those locations should start with Google reviews, but You know, where you’re creating a knowledge base, not just of where your location is and what the phone number is, but there’s a lot of other information that goes into it. You’ll see in this example over here on the right, where we’ve got photos of branch locations, having good photos of your branch locations does make it more of a welcoming aspect. And it doesn’t feel as stale. You know, a lot of times we use the word institution, the subscribe, you know, where we go to bank. And I think the less we can emphasize an institution and the more we can emphasize, this is a place that is near you, the more we start to have that kind of welcoming feeling.
Alexander Lahargoue 24:45
That’s true. When you see venture brands begin to set up their workflows with claiming locations and verifying all the information. What would you say are some of the most common bottlenecks that you sleep that slowly these kind of teams down?
Ben Pankonin 24:58
Yeah, I think Sometimes we get overwhelmed by, you know, a lot of different listings information like there, there’s quite a bit we have to fill out. There’s also some things we should think about for disclosures. And you know how we want to archive that information. So, so I think when we’re thinking about being overwhelmed, it’s really easy to look at all of the logos of listing sites and say, Where do I start? Now a Google My Business. Login is really where you should start. You should have a Google My Business login. You should have an ability to see that listings data in one spot. You should be able to claim your Facebook locations. Now I’m going to put an Asterix out there for Facebook right now because Facebook’s in flux, we’ve been monitoring it daily for the last. It’s about two and a half weeks are that Facebook has changed their verification process? Facebook pages. Stay tuned. I’d love to tell you that I will solve it today. But but it’s a riddle. So if you’re logging into your Facebook pages location today, it probably has a little red bar at the top and says, we’re going to be removing the gray badge, the checkmark for your Facebook, verification. I think that’s something that we we just have to stay on top of. We’ve been chatting with Facebook on that subject. And really what they have is, is they’ve said, yeah, we are changing it. And I think part of that is they they’re feeling some pressure to make sure that they’re verifying it correctly. So they’re going to, they’re going to make some changes. I think that’s also going to be influenced a little bit by Instagram. So, so stay tuned. You know, we’re staying on top of that one. If you have verified pages that are still verified, but there are going to be removing that check mark and I think there may be requiring some additional resources. So So stay tuned, we’ll try to keep you in the loop on on what gets changed there. But I think that’s that’s a lot of times a scary spot. One of the other things that I think is really interesting is I pulled this, I pulled this review from Ubers. app reviews, right? So one of the things that we oftentimes when we’re looking at managing reviews, we look at, at the different locations for where they’re reviewed. And we think that you’re only reviewing like technology when you go to review an app. And I think this is actually kind of interesting, because if we read this Uber review, what we find is, they’re actually not reviewing the app for Uber at all. Even though this is in the Google Play Store. They’re actually reviewing their most recent experience with a driver. And I think that’s a really important thing as financial institutions to think about is that when we’re getting reviewed, is all Oftentimes, it’s personal. We did some extensive research, reviewing different financial institutions and what was said to them and about them on social media channels a few years ago. Some of the the research that we have we can’t do anymore because of platforms like Facebook are not allowing that kind of scraping of their data anymore. But what we were able to uncover was that smaller financial institutions actually have more positive things said to them on social media channels than large financial institutions by by an order of magnitude. So what we started to find is that it’s personal, right, the way you’re reviewing your bank’s mobile app has oftentimes just as much to do with the in person experience you’ve experienced with that bank than it does with the actual app itself.
Alexander Lahargoue 28:55
That’s a great point because with Uber, they have driver ratings that kind of incentivize them. drivers to provide a unique level of service. However, do you think that a community banks, for example, should have similar kind of reviews for their frontline personnel to try and generate those same reviews?
Ben Pankonin 29:09
Yeah, I mean, you know, I don’t know that we need necessarily, you know, all of our universal bankers or tellers to be reviewed. We’ll be talking a little bit about Zillow reviews, which I think are really important for lenders. And those people who are hard really driving business for us in those senses. I think that’s really important. But you know, our frontline staff doesn’t necessarily have that same review process, but it is heavily influencing our experience with that with that financial institution. So I think it is important to think about how we might review them, just like you might review an app on you know, that’s that’s what consumers are used to. So when they’re going out to express a Google review, they might be actually just reviewing your frontline staff. Or when they’re reviewing your app, they might actually be reviewing your response to issues more So then they are actually reviewing the app. So another thing to think about is, when we’re managing reviews, we want to figure out how our team plays into that. You highlight a little bit about it, you know, are we reviewing those individual team members? Well, not necessarily. But it as a global scale we are right. So if we think about each location in which we have a branch location, we probably want to gain the way we have reviews. So one of the things I was I walked into a bank not that long ago. And when I came in, I said, Oh, I just saw that you had a really positive review. This week happened to be on Google. And Claire absolutely loves you. And the bank said, well, who’s Claire? Yeah. What do we do with this? And I said, Well, well, I don’t know. It wasn’t at this branch location. It was at the other branch location that’s a couple miles away. But like, you know, it seems like Claire had a fantastic experience and she just poured her heart out in this Google review. So that’s really fantastic that you had such a great experience. And they said, Well, what should we do with that? I said, Well, I think I think you need to document that for that branch location to go, like, like, Claire needs a hug. Like, at the end of the day, like Claire loves you. And what you’re doing is a bank for her. Like, like, just just show her some appreciation for that review. Like, that shouldn’t mean a lot to you. Because it meant a lot to her to take time out of her schedule. And I think this is part of what we want to do when we coordinate our bank as a whole is to be able to say, hey, you’re a branch manager. By the way, Claire just had a great experience at your main street location. Do you know Claire to somebody else know Claire, do you want to go research who Claire is so so that we can go just appreciate her the next time. She comes. She doesn’t necessarily need anything monetarily or any gifts or anything like that. But just mentioning that you saw that is high validation.
Alexander Lahargoue 32:11
Yeah, I mean, that’s a great story about Claire, and I’m sure every day there are examples of different workers and community banks going above and beyond providing that kind of customer service, we got to kind of a similar question from Andrea, and that how can community banks get those kind of reviews on a consistent basis by that? How can that be operationalized and put into a smooth workflow to boost their online Seo?
Ben Pankonin 32:35
Yeah. So So part of what we do when we do an advanced reviews product is is to share out that information. So I think one of those things is to share out that information. So as community managers on social media, part of what we have to get into the role of doing is being able to say, hey, not everything that is great on social media happens on social media, not everything great that happens online. Is is happening online, sometimes it’s happening in person. So we want to be able to share out that kind of information and build a workflow. So that, you know that workflow can be shared across your institution so that it can be socialized internally so that it rewards people that are, you know, positively reviewing and people who are negative rude reviewing, we can go get some, get some feedback and try to fix those issues as well. So some of that’s a speed issue. You know, some of that might be that we do have, you know, negative replay complaints. At times, it could be that you want to, maybe you’ve got a review out there on Yelp or something like that yelps a painful platform. As a company, I don’t like Yelp. I don’t I don’t like their business model. I don’t like the way that they operate. However, as a marketer, and as a consumer, I need to take into account that Yelp has an effect on the way Review data works. And and so, you know, managing a platform like Yelp often means that I either have to pay for a premium listing, if I want to get those results back quickly. Or I, you know, I have to, you know, be trolling Yelp frequently to go watch for that data. So when I’m seeing that type of information, I can’t expect that every branch manager is going to be reviewing their branch all the time. Right. But, you know, centrally in marketing and compliance, I should be able to grab some visibility to that. And then, you know, send people reminders. Hey, have we have we talked to Claire lately, that look like she just had a great experience, or, hey, we just saw this negative complaint come in. We’ve addressed it oftentimes, that first address doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re solving it, but we have to at least acknowledge it. Hey, I, you know, I’m sorry, Alexander. You had a bad experience. You know, let me do some homework. Do you mind giving us a call? Or do you mind you know, sort of connecting with us on these private secure channels, so that we can help to address it. That helps to show that the other people who are watching the review data are saying, Hey, I expect that at some point during the lifecycle of my experience, being a customer of a financial institution, I’m going to have a negative experience is going to be something that happens. We talked about that in the in the restaurant experiences we have the the restaurant that you would, you would go to if you were in Lincoln, and you would say this is sort of Lincoln’s restaurant is a restaurant called Laszlo. So, their their main and original location is a half a block from our office, and they are known for comping meals, like like, we were having a conversation about it earlier. And if you are, if you’re from Lincoln, you’ve you’ve gone to to Laszlo his restaurant often enough That you’ve experienced something has gone wrong. And they will sort of say, Hey, I’m sorry, I didn’t get your appetizer out quick enough on I comped it right, and they will just do that, right? They don’t spend much on marketing or advertising, but they comp things. And they make sure that you feel that you’re getting a great value at that restaurant. Realistically, it’s, it’s, it’s not a fancy restaurant, but people will talk about the service level that they get there. Because that’s, that’s their experience when something goes wrong, even if it doesn’t even really feel like it went wrong. They do something about it. I think that’s part of our stance to reviews.
Alexander Lahargoue 36:41
Yeah, then that review goes on Yelp. But I mean, earlier, you said that it’s a very labor and time intensive process. And you’re right, and that different review sites have different rules. Given that why is it better for our listeners to try to monitor their presence on all these different sites, as opposed to trying to train their customers to say Hey, if you want to give us a review, go to this one site. And that’s where monitor.
Ben Pankonin 37:04
Yeah, yeah. I mean, you know, we can’t, we can’t sort of dictate where people review. Like, we don’t get that opportunity to tell them. Hey, I’m sorry, Alexander that you’re, you know, you’re an apple fan, but like, I like Google better. Like, you know what, don’t get that opportunity. Just like I could tell my wife that she has to give up Apple Maps. You know that that’s just the reality. Now, part of what we also want to track and not forget about is review data isn’t just confined to the address and phone number. We’re also wanting to manage things like what’s the service area, what are the hours, even things like holidays, that’s an important thing to be thinking about how you might push that review data out. So when we do a lot of our advanced listings, products, what we’ll do is actually put in those hours put in the holiday Nowadays, and then push updates across those, which kind of brings us to I think there’s, there’s really two schools of thought in managing listings. And, you know, yes, I, we do both of these. But if we look at the manual process, which says, Hey, this is obviously takes quite a bit of time to continue adding different locations, right? If you’re starting down that path and saying, Hey, we really, we have limited resources. But you know, we really need to be there. I would just say, start with Google, like, make sure that you have your Google listings are up to date. Google, my business has a really sophisticated, advanced platform for doing that. It’s great like they they have built nice tools around it. And I think they’re respectful of the data and its purity, where platforms like Yelp or not But you know, I will, I will continue to preach to people not to use Yelp. But at the same hand, to your point earlier, we can’t necessarily tell a consumer not to go review us there. But, you know, start with Google, work your way into Facebook, make sure that your locations are claimed on Facebook as well. then beyond that, you should start thinking about platforms like Bing, Foursquare, making sure some of those are up to date. Now, the challenge with that is that everything that you do there if you start to manage holidays, now, if you have changed to that, you would have to go login to those platforms individually. So so it is a time intensive process. But you know, you can go get those listings up to date, just make sure that you’re picking something that’s sustainable there. So if you are pushing a whole bunch of information that needs to be updated regularly, you need to make sure that it’s not just in your account, that it’s not your personal Gmail that you’re logging into you make sure that it’s something that you can manage and pass along to other individuals in your organization. So that there’s that there’s not just a one login to that.
Alexander Lahargoue 40:11
Speaking of which, we got a great question from Kimberly in the chat just now. And she asked that most of our customer base is older slash they’re not that familiar with getting reviews online. Yeah,
Ben Pankonin 40:21
given that, how can they solicit reviews? And if they have a positive review? Can they post that review under their own account online? Ooh, good question. Yeah, Kimberly, thanks for that. You know, I think that is a common scenario that we are experiencing older individuals who are who are starting to review us, and sometimes what you have in review data as well that we didn’t really talk about it. But I, you know, when we pull in a lot of reviews, sometimes we get hilarious reviews. I was meeting with a bank president recently who said, who I sat down with them and said, hey, you’ve got this. This review actually was it was about a year ago, I said, you get this weird review on this, this location. And it was like this bank smells like tuna fish, five stars. And fortunately, you know, he’s got a good sense of humor, and we had a good laugh about it. But I said, you know, like, this is part of sometimes it’s not rational, as well. So it’s not just necessarily an older demographic, sometimes it’s just the internet’s a weird place. So, so I think that’s one of the things to be thinking to be thoughtful of is sometimes there’s not, they’re not rational. But you know, when you have a an older population, a lot of times, they look at reviews differently in that they may read the full review, they may also write a much longer review, right. I submitted a review this past weekend, and my review included two photos, and maybe a sentence. So am I I felt like that was a very sufficient review. Like I thought that was a very good review. If you ask my dad to go review the same place, he’s probably going to give you two paragraphs, but no photos. Yeah. And and that’s just the difference that we sort of experienced and why I think it’s good to be getting different ages. So. So Kimberly, I appreciate the question, I think. So part of what we want to do is, is request those when we’ve had a good experience. And I’ll talk to you a little bit about some of my lending experience and some of how that’s worked. But, but I think those are really good processes to start thinking about. Now, I compare these two philosophies of there’s a manual process of going out making sure that we’ve claimed some of those locations. that’s essential as a baseline, Google and Facebook. You have to do those regardless. So you need to you need to go out and actually get an you know, get your account set up for those two And then you have to kind of work your way down because Alexa isn’t necessarily looking at those. You know, Google, my business is looking at a lot of information. But you still have a lot of other review sites, you know, Foursquare, still very active in supplying a lot of apps with your back end data. One of the ones we didn’t talk about is, you know, Uber, right. When you go Uber somewhere, most of the time, I don’t know the address that Uber into, right, when I go selected that I want to go Uber somewhere, I actually just selected based on the business that I’m going to Uber to. So our new listings and reviews product actually submits data directly to Uber. And so I think that’s a it starts to become a more important integration.
Alexander Lahargoue 43:48
In your mind, is there a point where good enough is good enough where they no longer have to keep monitoring all these other sites once they have reached a certain level on other sites?
Ben Pankonin 44:00
Yeah, I mean, I think I’d love to say that at some point, we’ll get there. But the reality is we’re looking for different information where we go out to the internet and and as consumers, we don’t necessarily care. Like, we don’t care where that data comes from. We’re sort of searching it from the endpoint, right? It could be that we’re using an app, you know, maybe you’re using waves and you’re saying, Hey, I actually really like waves, because it sort of gives me a different level of information on maps. So I don’t think I don’t think we’re going to get to a spot where we have that central repository. So you really have these two philosophies, which is, hey, I want to push something out manually. And I want to start to, you know, inch away at some different reviews and get as many as I can get knocked out, or you go the promoted listings, which again, we have a product for it pushes out to 100 different sites at the same time, and that those are just two philosophies, I would love to not have to charge for it. But most of the fee that we have to charge for it, we actually put into Google reviews has promoted listings, you know, platforms like Yelp that I hate to have to pay. But that’s what we’re paying for is so that you get a promoted listing, and then you get your data back immediately. So you actually get that review data coming into a central place. And with the promoted listings, then you get the opportunity to set to set your hours to set all of your locations once and if you make one change, like you say, Hey, we’re going to be closed next week that actually pushes out to all of that review data for all hundred sites at one time. So, certainly that, you know, there’s a cost to that, and I’m certainly, you know, cognizant of, you know, we don’t always want to have to pay for those but, but that’s a really important distinction. I think. I just want people to have a fair shake. Hey, you know, we have to do some level of listings, but, you know, if you’re trying to influence that score, really pushing it out to two more sites does influence that pretty significantly. Now, I also want to say, you know, when we do have review data coming in, we do want to make sure that we’re able to archive that as well and make sure we’re able to manage that. So those individual locations can come in, we can track that respond back to those as well. Now, you can also flag those as complaint so you can flag those individual reviews. So that is one thing that we do see asked during audit time periods is, hey, how many negative reviews complaints, things like that did you have online and this great way to be tracking all of that?
Alexander Lahargoue 46:50
after a certain point, though, as kind of how consumers no longer way older reviews as much as they do recent reviews, when we archive reviews, internally Should we keep putting value on those that are as that are older than ones or newer?
Ben Pankonin 47:05
Yeah, I mean, you know, they’re still going to influence your score over time. But you know, you’re going to have just a different response to those. So, so you know, you’re, you’re going to sort of bury those over time, which I think is healthy. Now, one of the things I think that’s also really valuable is to think about we’ve talked about monitoring your views as brands, but reviews as people are also important. You highlighted it maybe in Do we have frontline branch staff that gets reviewed, I kind of hope not. But, you know, at the end of the day, like, we probably didn’t see zillo playing as big of a role as they do today in the mortgage business. And they’re doing you know, their, their service is annoying at times, but also, you know, a value so, you know, my my lender here. You know, here was his review, he wrote a little description now When I said, as a brand, you can’t expect to have 10 reviews and get five stars. As a person, you can hit that. So like Adam here has, you know, 10 reviews on Zillow rating, and he still has a perfect five stars. Now part of what he’s able to do is when we’re educating a lender about reviews, is when he gets his review, or he goes through a refinance, which I did a while back. And I said, Hey, Adam, how’s the, you know, Howard Zilla working for you? How are those things work? And he’s like, Well, yeah, that’s important to me. Because I, you know, I depend on it. It does help deliver leads to me, for people searching for lenders, but it also is something that people might look at if they’re shopping for a couple different options. So he gets the opportunity to first ask you, hey, how is your experience and you can say, hey, this has been great Adam, and he can say Hey, please review me.
Alexander Lahargoue 49:02
So he’s better able to pick and choose who he wants to ask for review. And brands are usually able to.
Ben Pankonin 49:08
That’s right. And we’re in general, typically more favorable to people we know, Drew, right. Like, I know, Adam, well, he also happens to know all of my financial history. So you know, we have a different level of respect. And so you could get, you know, a better example there. So, yeah, there’s, there’s some great pro tips, as always, we’ll, we’ll make sure to send these out. But yeah, make sure that, that you’re, you’re testing your reputation and understand what it looks like. We’ll be sending out this link in here, which gives you an ability to go out and look at some of your locations and see how they’re getting reviewed. So feel free to use that. That’s a it’ll just kind of show you if there’s some conflicts there. So a little bit of a tool to give you a little bit of a leg up to as a place to start. But then, you know, To answer the question from I think Jen was one of the ones that asked, and, you know, Kimberly was asking a little bit too about how do we get reviews? That’s really what we want to focus on this. This area is in the, in the words of, of Aaron Burr in, in Hamilton, he wants to be in the room, right? He wants to be in the room where it happens, right? So for all of us that are kind of designing this marketing aspect on the back end, we want to help people to understand what it’s like to review these locations. What is it like? And what’s the what’s the experience you have on the other side? I think that’s a an interesting area. So you’ve probably been in a meeting, where you have a you know, the executive team says, Hey, do we have enough review data? Or maybe we should get some more positive reviews? The first question that I would pose to them is, what would you want the reviews to say? Now, I don’t think often enough, we ask that question. We don’t start with a mentality that says, if someone had an experience with my financial institution, what would I want them to say as a result? But I think if you’re going back to your board meeting and asking that question, that gets to be a really interesting conversation, and I don’t think anybody addresses it better than Jay Baer and Daniel lemon. Daniel lemons been a been a good mentor of mine and helps me a number of times in writing and things but but their book really tackles this idea of understanding. How do we develop a what they call talk trigger, is a really interesting place where it says, You look, people aren’t discussing adequate experiences. Like if your experience with a brand was just what you expected, then that’s not necessarily something that you’re going to write a review about. When it was something that you weren’t expecting. Positive or negative, that starts to inspire a review. And so what they advocate for are what are called talk triggers. And they define those and with a number of different examples, one of the ones that they like to talk about a lot is Doubletree. So if you’ve stayed at a at a Doubletree, you know that there’s one thing that you’re going to expect when you go to your room, and that is a chocolate chip cookie on your pillow. And I can think of nothing more glorious. But, but when we think about that, what they’re doing is they’re developing something that you can socialize and talk to other people about that experience. And I think that’s, that’s really what you have to start thinking about when you’re going into analyzing how you want reviews. You want to be able to make a connection with people now connect connection making a new connection with someone isn’t just sort of, Hey, I recognize that we have this in common That’s what we call familiarity, right? familiarity just says, Hey, we can relate. What you also need is something that’s unique. That’s where we would find something like a talk trigger. That uniqueness is something we would talk about. So the last Uber ride I took was on Sunday, I was heading to the airport in Philadelphia. My wife was staying back out there, and I texted her from inside my Uber ride and said, I am riding in a black Lincoln Town Car with classical music going.
I think it she texted me back, like, what did you book this? Well, I booked an Uber. The guy who shows up, has a black Lincoln Town Car. It wasn’t new, but it was very clean. And he had classical music at a low level. Now what he recognized is that he had a car and could create that sort of experience of premium value. To me, he probably doesn’t enjoy listening to classical music, he probably doesn’t go home and listen to classical music. So he was thinking about it as a brand, right? He was thinking about how he creates that experience for me. And so it became something that I talked about, because it was a premium type of experience.
Alexander Lahargoue 54:17
But isn’t one of the main benefits of reviews is learning. And if we keep trying to, you know, provide the review information about what to review ahead of time, doesn’t that hurt where we could learn about our own business and areas that we might not be as proficient in?
Ben Pankonin 54:31
Yeah, so you know, in those cases, one of the things that I would say is, I’ve had a lot of experience where an Uber driver asks me to review them. I have never had a bad experience in an Uber ride, in which they’ve also asked me for a review, good point, which is a really interesting thing when you when you come to think of it if you’re starting to train your staff to ask people for reviews. If they know That they’re not doing a phenomenal job, they probably won’t ask for a review. So what you start to have is a mentality has to shift within our staff that says, I want to deliver enough experience that it’s worth reviewing. And I also want them to experience a five star review. Right? So, so my driver when I showed up to the airport, you know, I mean, I commented because it’s kind of like, shockingly nice. And he said, Hey, if you can give me five stars, it would mean a lot to me. That’s what I depend on. And, of course, I gave him a five star review. I gave him a tip like that. That’s an experience, but he’s pursuing it, right? He’s personally vested in trying to earn a five star review. And I think that’s part of what what our staff has to shift to, is figuring out how we how we push for that kind of review. Now, there are other options that we can push for those as well. We do some progress To push for emailing and even texting for additional review data. So when we push for those, what we can actually do is, is actually ask people to review us. So you can push out those reviews. And those reviews could happen on a platform like Google, you know, we could ask for a Google review. Or we could even ask for a review on our own site. Now, oftentimes, I think we sort of discount reviews on our own site, because they’re, they’re biased, right? It’s it’s a curated review, right? But the reality is we depend heavily on platforms like Amazon, who are you are reviewing on their site. And so there is some merit to that, not just from an evaluation of your products perspective, but also from people giving you quotes and feedback. So there’s some there’s some really good experiences As you can start to have on doing reviews on your own website, not a lot of financial institutions do it. And you typically do have to let people review in all their glory, right? Like you, you can’t sort of filter out all of the negative ones, you can filter out some of the ones if they’re derogatory, or things like that you do have a little bit more control. But you can start to use that and embedded on your website. And you can even, you can be a little bit more biased in the way that you rank more, you know, more positive reviews towards the top, there’s some there’s some ways that you can do that. But embedding reviews on your website can be a positive experience in which you can give people that ability to talk to you directly. So with that, you know, we’ve had some, some really good questions. We’ve got a couple action steps for all of you as well. We’ll be sending out a link so that if you want to kind of look to see if there’s some conflicts in there data, you can you can plug in one of your locations there. We’ve got some additional tools that we’ll be sending out a little bit of feedback after after the end of this webinar. But, you know, we hope that all of you will be developing some great triggers. And Alexander thanks for Thanks for helping us lead this.
Alexander Lahargoue 58:19
Oh, yeah, my pleasure. And then don’t forget next month’s webinar, we’ll be going over the results of our marketing compliance report. So a big thank you to everyone who took the time to fill out the survey and be sure to register for the next webinar, we’ll be going over all the results and how you can better game plan for 2020